Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Frericks' Return Bolsters Pingeton's Tigers

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Frericks' Return Bolsters Pingeton's Tigers

Article excerpt

COLUMBIA, MO. * Missouri junior guard Sophie Cunningham saw enough in one preseason practice to declare the Tigers "the best team we've ever had here at Mizzou." It was a bold statement based on a balance of returning talent and crucial additions to Robin Pingeton's roster.

Jordan Frericks falls into both categories. The fifth-year senior forward missed all of last season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee during preseason practices, giving her a front-row seat to a 22-win campaign that saw the Tigers finish third in the Southeastern Conference and return to the NCAA Tournament. With key players back on campus All-SEC scoring machine Cunningham, SEC co-freshman of the year Amber Smith and third-year starting forward Cierra Porter the Tigers bolster that nucleus with Frericks, a proven post scorer and one of the best rebounders to come through the program under Pingeton, last season's SEC coach of the year.

While Cunningham made the most headlines two seasons ago when she set Mizzou's single-game scoring record four games into her freshman year, there were plenty of nights when Frericks was MU's best player on the floor. As a junior she earned second-team All-SEC honors and averaged 12.1 points and a team-best 7.7 rebounds while shooting 55 percent from the floor.

"Anytime you have a player that's been here for five years, that maturity level, that understanding of expectations and details and the discipline that you need to have day in and day out she's certainly an impact player on the court," said Pingeton, back for her eighth season at Mizzou. "She just gives us an anchor inside. She's a kid that really likes to play with her back to the basket. Although we've really worked in the offseason trying to extend her game as much as we could within the limits of her rehab."

Frericks will be on the floor Oct. 21 when the men's and women's teams hold public scrimmages at Mizzou Madness, an exhibition event free to the public at Mizzou Arena, set to begin an hour after the conclusion of MU's football game against Idaho. Point guard Lauren Aldridge, a transfer from Kansas and expected starter, will make her MU debut at the event, along with a handful of freshmen who could join the rotation. Pingeton's team plays its first of two exhibition games Nov. 2 against Southwest Baptist.

Last year, Pingeton's staff hoped to expand Frericks' offensive range as the 6-1 forward worked on a midrange jumper to complement her rugged inside game, but just as the Tigers started preseason workouts, Frericks suffered the season-ending injury. …

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